“I grew up in a Russian region, whose original inhabitants were Sami. Since my childhood I have always learned something about them - from the fairy tales of regional children's books and puppet shows. Nonetheless I have never seen them until then. Or were my ideas about their appearance so unrealistic that I never recognized them in life? So, I started my research of the disappearing Sami culture, hoping to unite my childhood ideas and reality.
The many Sami people I got to know during my work on this documentary did not look much different from me and often led a completely normal, modern life. But these people all had a very valuable treasure - their memories of their culture and their history. This memory subsequently formed the basis for my film "Habitat" and opened for me an alternative artistic approach to the field of ethnological film, in which the presence of a foreign culture is not only made perceivable by archiving actions and situations, but also through the personal stories of people captured with the camera.” (Pola Rader)
The film moves in the free-flowing memory tracks of a small indigenous people and tries to create a common memory image of the past 100 years from the diversity of the protagonists. The approximately 1600 persons that live on the Russian territory of their homeland "Lapland", which is now divided between four countries, are the focus of the film narrative. 19 people recall their past life memories in film. The past and the present flow into each other. However, you can feel a huge gap between "today" and "yesterday".